Emerson in the News
Ranked #4 in the nation for Radio, Television, and Digital Communications, #8 for Communication and Media Studies, and #15 for Marketing
- College Factual
#2 Best College Radio Station in the U.S.
-The Princeton Review
#6 on the 2019 Best Regional Universities in the North -U.S. News & World Report
In the Top 10 of America's Top 25 Film Schools
-The Hollywood Reporter
Top 10 of U.S. News’ Most Innovative list
(Regional Universities North) for “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities.”
ABOUT KITTY SAVAGE, President of Mountain Heir Media
I have always been an artist at heart, and became a serial entrepreneur at a young age. Partnering with my best friend Ryan, we started selling our own crafts in just fifth grade. In middle school, I started scouting unsigned artists on AOL, marketking newsletters about my ongoing music business research, writing songs, and creating art. Ryan and I became fashion designers in high school, selling our items to students and at festivals. While only 19, she began opening her stores, and I began my career in the music business around the time I was accepted into the competitive Emerson College. Around this time, I became the manager and creative producer for Joe Pet, former drummer of the Joe Perry Band, and lead various projects for him over a couple of years, including booking him gigs, managing media production, and assisting in recording sessions. This began a stream of amazing audio engineering and stagehand jobs at the best music venues in Massachusetts, Paradise Rock Club & The Tweeter Center (now the Dunkin Donuts Center) where I forged relationships with the performing talent. This became a gateway to consulting for more artists. I gained technical skills both in the venue and as the assistant Technical Director for Emerson College while also hired to help students troubleshoot their recording sessions. The friends I gained in college at that time, I liken to geniuses, and many of them became revered professors for the world's top universities. Both then and now, we throw ourselves into the active discovery and pursuit of revelations, inspiration, and expression through the fusion of technology and art. I commend my friends for being so brilliant and being a part of a community who seeks to teach each other these new discoveries, so we all grow together.
After spending a couple of years hopping on the Fung Wah bus from Boston to NYC to assist in Queens and Brooklyn art loft events, I joined Amayo, the singer of Antibalas & Amayo's Fu-Arkest-Ra, for consulting his band in design, stage directing, audio engineering, and event production. I often hung with soul stars in Brooklyn, attending their sessions at top recording studios and gigs at legendary venues. I was thrilled to constantly be surrounded by my musical heroes and living my dreams, but with the constant buzz and cold winters of the city, I started to imagine what life would be like in the mountains of North Carolina, where a good friend had moved after high school. I wondered if I could bring some of my spark down to the mountains and make something big happen.
After winning 2007's Emerson College's annual business plan competition for proposing a music venue to be based riverside in Asheville, and graduating college in 2008, I took the move to the mountain town to gain more work experience in the event and venue management industry. While I fell in love with the scene, started consulting for a local fashion designer (Royal Peasantry) and was offered to be the Technical Director of the audio engineer team at the Grove Park Inn, I was also offered a long-sought position of being a Creative Tutor for Apple, Inc. back home in Boston. Torn but inspired to teach others my skills, I had to make a choice. I left Asheville after only a few months, but Asheville never left my heart. I knew I would return one day and build my life here.
Back in Mass, I became Apple's top-rated Creative tutor every month at our location. I enjoyed teaching the production of high quality videos, slideshow presentations, websites, graphic design, music productions, consulting for photographers who needed organization, artists looking to improve their skillsets, and helping students of all ages to feel comfortable and inspired with their machines. Most of all, I enjoyed connecting with the hopes and dreams of my students, and helping to show them how they could fulfill their visions. This is what I call "soul work," crafting legacies through media (something Mountain Heir Media would one day fully embrace as its brand). Many of the activities we focused on also had to deal with processing the loss of loved ones; making memorial videos or slideshows was a popular request. Sometimes, even just hanging out with the seniors who visited and wanted to organize their cat photo libraries or learn how to find more cat photos and videos on the web, was a fulfilling and rewarding experience for us both.
Upon returning to Asheville, I joined with Dream Guitars, the country's 2nd-Best Acoustic Boutique for specialty guitars, as a "media guru", producing videos with Grammy winner Al Pettaway and others with infamous luthier Paul Reed Smith. I lacked the skill of publicity organization at that time, and so sought these skills out when I joined with Geniass Productions for local concert promotion, advertising events, and strategizing successful digital/radio/print publicity campaigns for bands. It turned out I had a great knack for what I learned, especially from my friend and colleage, Sam Katz. While I was enjoying the success of my own independent events in the hip-hop niche and Geniass was opening the Asheville Music Hall, I began to hunger for more knowledge on publicity and marketing. Lucky for me, as I was being accepted to WCU and local colleges, I received an offer for a scholarship to return to Emerson College. I had loved my alma mater so much, and was thrilled to accept the scholarship toward an Internationally-accredited Global Marketing Communications & Advertising with a focus on Public Relations.
Emerson is a creative hub full of out-of-the-box thinkers who are daring, hard-working, competitive, collaborative, and altruistic. I feel honored to have been part of the Emerson community and had amazing experiences working at the audio lab, troubleshooting students' projects for years, as well as being the Assistant to the Technical Director Bruno Caruso. Together, Bruno and I would keep the computer systems up to date with the most creative software; we'd wire the audio set-up for conferences and events; I'd repair gear using soldering tools and wire strippers; I'd make cables and be available to WERS, the nation's top college radio station, for technical support. I also enjoyed putting events together and finding guest speakers for our classes. I have been blessed to have a social circle of creative geniuses from the Boston and New York area and in the music industry, and as friends and producers, we have maintained over a decade of collaborations and support for one another through sharing important innovations in creative media.